Former Butler center Andrew Smith reveals his cancer has returned

Former Butler big man Andrew Smith and his wife, Sam, at Hinkle Fieldhouse. (Photo via the Smith family)

The story of former Butler center Andrew Smith is the most powerful one I’ve had the privilege of writing. Back in March, we published the account of the most harrowing, debilitating, unthinkable — and inspiring — year of Smith’s life.

After beating cancer, he was on his way to recovery, but then his heart gave out and he collapsed in July 2014. He was technically dead for 22 minutes, but he somehow came back to life and without brain damage. An amazing story to say the least.

But on Friday, Smith’s wife, Sam, published a blog post that revealed her husband has again been dealt another bout with cancer. Smith has been fighting the disease once again since May.

“We both lived in a state of shock and depression for a while after we were hit with this news,” Sam Smith wrote. “We’ve taken the past few months to cope with this and what it means for us. Family and close friends were told, but otherwise, we’ve intentionally kept things very quiet and private between us.

“Truth is, we’ve enjoyed normalcy. We’ve enjoyed having conversations with friends and strangers that didn’t center around cancer. We’ve enjoyed our leap of faith in buying our first home together, truly believing in the core of our hearts that we had beaten this disease and were free to move on with our lives.”

But now Smith’s been taking on more chemo. Although, Sam told CBS Sports it has been a less invasive and devastating kind of chemo from his first significant cancer fight. Still, this time around a more delicate hurdle has to be cleared — a bone marrow transplant is needed.

“It has great risks, but potentially, great reward,” Sam wrote in her blog.

Andrew, fortunately, has a donor in place for the procedure. Still, another long fight of recovery awaits. They’re expecting this next battle to take the better part of a year. With the news public, Sam said support has been overwhelming, which has included the Butler basketball family.

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